One business lesson that has stuck in our minds is – if you are looking to enter a market your product has to be substantially better than the existing ones otherwise the consumer will choose the established company that they trust instead of the newcomer. This is what we always try to conversate with sustainable fashion brands and remind them that they compete with every fashion brand out there, not just the sustainable ones.
It may sound controversial but sustainability should not be the main value proposition – good design should.
Let me explain. We live in a visual culture where we interact with thousands of images daily and we stop at the ones that are appealing to us. So why good design matters? Because if the design isn’t good consumers will not discover your product in the first place.
However, we are not proclaiming that sustainability does not matter. It does! It is an additional value proposition that can help substantially once you have checked off all the market criteria. See, we believe that people want to do good as long as their needs are satisfied hence the design is of such an importance. Therefore, by making beautiful sustainable products we make it easier for them to make more environmentally friendly choices and that is the goal, isn’t it?
In fact, we would like to argue that sustainable brands have a chance to surpass the conventional brands because they are constantly thinking about how to improve and innovate on what they do especially with the materials and technical side. But we would suggest to follow the “Tesla model”. Instead of simply making an environmentally friendly car that might lack in the area of design Tesla made an aspirational car. It has new exciting features, great design and is environmentally friendly.
Innovation is the future and we believe that clothing will have way more functions beside the conventional – protection and modesty. Open up your doors to collaborations, speak more with people in tech industry. No need to improve on your weaknesses, improve on your strengths and collaborate with people who are great at all the things that you might not excel at. Whether it is design, tech, marketing or business. And remember that, of course, we can be cycling everywhere which might be the most environmentally friendly mode of transport but what about long distance commute, comfort and weather conditions. We think this is where Tesla would be more effective and still environmentally acceptable choice. So why not be Tesla?
KALIGARH | jewellery
SUSTAINABILITY | Handmade by small-scale artisans in Nepal and elsewhere in the Himalaya. Brand pays tribute to the art and artisans of the Himalayan region. Kaligarh is recognised as a Fair Trade Supplier by the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS), and is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum.
HUND HUND | womenswear and menswear
SUSTAINABILITY | Garments are made in Europe (Poland and Romania) to lower the transportation emissions and ensure fair labour practices. They use sustainable materials such as Tencel where possible and has cut out the middle man through only selling online in order to lower their prices.
INGA INTIMATES | lingerie
SUSTAINABILITY | Hand made in Berlin using surplus and sustainable fabrics.
ANNE MANNS | jewellery
SUSTAINABILITY | Works with fine craftmanship of Berlin goldsmiths and local family businesses.
E.A.SEAWEAR | lingerie
SUSTAINABILITY | Works with senior ladies that hand makes crotchet swimwear in Berlin.
Look 1: Lingerie: Inga Intimates; Earrings: Kaligarh / Look 2: Shirt: Hund Hund; Earring: Anne Manns / Look 3: Shirt and trousers: Hund Hund; Swimwear top: E.A.Seawear; Earrings and bracelet: Kaligarh / Look 4: Shirt and trousers: Hund Hund; Swimwear top: E.A.Seawear; Earrings: Kaligarh / Look 5: Jacket: Hund Hund; Earrings: Kaligarh; Lingerie: Inga Intimates / Look 6: Jacket: Hund Hund; Earrings: Anne Manns